Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Victoria Revealed – Review by Coryne Hall

 “Victoria Revealed:  500 Facts About the Queen and Her World.” (Historic Royal Palaces). 152 pages, illustrated in colour throughout.

When Queen Victoria was born in 1819 England was largely rural, by the time she died in 1901 Britain had been changed out of all recognition and Victoria herself had been transformed from passionate princess to elderly Empress.  This lovely book, published by Historic Royal Palaces in connection with the new exhibition at Kensington Palace, provides 500 facts about Victoria’s world starting with her girlhood, then as woman, wife, mother and widow before moving on to her time as sovereign. “Ten Girlhood Favourites”; “Baby Mementoes” (her own and her children’s); her most interesting grandchildren; outstanding achievements of the age in the arts, engineering, science and literature, are just some of the aspects covered in this book. Victoria had trouble descending stairs because of “something wrong in the knee”;  Prince Albert designed a brooch for her containing their daughter Vicky’s first milk tooth; and Victorian conventions included leaving calling cards but not, apparently, covering piano legs!

There is something for everyone in this beautifully illustrated book.

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